By Frank Gayaldo
March 27, 2017
San Joaquin, CA. – BREAKING NEWS: Today it is now confirmed by San Joaquin County Counsel that on August 22, 2016, San Joaquin County received a “Claim for Damage or Injury” on behalf of San Joaquin County District Chief Investigator Kenneth K Melgoza, via the Turner Law Group in Sacramento, California.
The claim states “Claimant Melgoza suffered extreme emotional distress and lost wages as a result of DA Verber’s retaliation against Mr. Melgoza for his refusal to disclose his knowledge of and involvement in criminal investigations being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in violation of Labor Code 1102.5. Claimant Melgoza refused to engage in unlawful and unethical conduct and he has been retaliated against because of said refusal.”
In 2011, Deputy Sheriff’s Association President Bob Foppiano and PORAC representative Randy Benemia alerted DA Investigator Kenneth Melgoza that the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office was conducting an illegal “gun chop shop” scheme. Under intensified media pressure initiated by this author, Tori Verber-Salazar reluctantly “referred the case to outside agencies for their review”.
This is not the first time the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office has been accused of harassing one of their own high level investigators. In 2014, a civil jury awarded ex-assistant chief Janis Trulsson $2 million dollars, primarily for what was characterized at the time as “gender discrimination”. Kenneth Melgoza was ultimately awarded the position that Trulsson sought.